Lillian’s final piece this week is looking at how best to travel with babies and toddlers …
Fuss-free Travels: Six Tips for Baby Meal-planning and Co-sleeping
Travelling with a baby brings in a totally different experience from journeying around with an older child or even a teenager. Apart from the need to tuck in a change of diapers and set of bibs, there are new considerations to make especially on meal planning, snooze times and baby safety. Here are a few guidelines recommended by Lillian Gaitho, Jovago.com‘s PR Manageress in Kenya.
#1 Prepare your baby ahead of time
While breastfeeding is the most convenient form of feed for your little one, it may not be applicable past six months or with formula fed babies. Prepping up for trips will now involve more than just packing your wardrobe and journals; take time to introduce your baby to meals at room temperature so as to avoid situations where ‘cold’ food feels strange. You may not be in a position to heat up the meals while travelling, thus makes sense to have an all-weather feeding plan.
#2 Easy, ready-to-go meals
Isn’t it funny how the human brain can complicate things? The easiest and most convenient meals need not call for piles of machinery and skillful attention. Pack a fork, your baby’s usual container and a fruit, maybe a banana, pawpaw or an avocado. You may also pack a baked sweet potato, or ready to mash potato and carrot paste. Your meal time prep up will go down to the basics; just empty your zip lock contents into your container and mash with the fork.
#3 Packing frozen foods
This is a great plan for camping, or for long haul flights, exotic destinations or unpredictable road trips. Invest in a mini-cooler for your travels. The secret is to make a plan ahead of time and prepare different foods in portions that you will use at a go, to avoid situations that could lead to wastage. Frozen foods can take up to four days, this will at least give you and baby time enough to adjust to the new environments.
#4 Consider commercial foods
If your baby is used to homemade food, they may have some difficulties adjusting to off-the-supermarket foods. This means you will need to introduce them to the same ahead of any planned travels. Also, it’s important to let their bodies adjust and react to a new food while at home as opposed to when away from the usual comforts. Look out for any allergic reactions or sheer discomfort.
#5 How to pack
Fruits especially have a shorter shelf life, meaning you should pack almost-ripe as opposed to ready-to-mash bits. Pack your baby’s favorite crockery as it will retain some form of familiarity thus boost their confidence as well as help them adjust. A change of bibs as will be required is also important, lastly, keep meal times as consistent as practically possible. Different airlines will have different guidelines on what you can bring in on your carry-on, remember to declare anything you may need to and keep it nice and tidy in there.
#6 Sleep and feeding patterns
If your baby does not sleep well, or is not rested and relaxed enough during meal times, they will more likely than not tend to get grizzly. Check the availability of a cot in your preferred accommodation ahead of time. If you will be co-sleeping, train them ahead of travels, as introducing a new habit in a strange environment will only make them more anxious and fussy. Keep things as consistent and familiar as practically possible.
Bon Voyage with your LO!